Healthy Living grants will boost health of San Gabriel Valley residents

June 9, 2015 | by Karen Stevens

Healthy lifestyle Grants will be given to organizations that help San Gabriel Valley residents eat right, exercise and make other lifestyle choices that can reduce their risks of cancer and diabetes.

Small is beautiful.

That’s the idea behind City of Hope’s Healthy Living Community Grant Program, according to Nancy Clifton-Hawkins, M.P.H., M.C.H.E.S, community benefit manager at City of Hope.

As part of a pilot project designed to improve the overall health of its home community, City of Hope will give about $30,000 in grants to organizations that help San Gabriel Valley residents eat right, exercise and make other lifestyle choices that can reduce their risks of cancer and diabetes. “Most likely, this means six awards of $5,000 each,” Clifton-Hawkins said. “We recognize this may not seem like a lot of money. But, in this case, a little can go a long way.”

The goal is to provide what she called “sparks” to start new projects and improve existing ones “through creativity and passion” and “by leveraging resources such as funding and networking.”

“We are going to be able to address some of the issues around health, health care and access that are not in our wheelhouse,” Clifton-Hawkins said, referring to the institution's core missions of lifesaving patient-focused cancer care and biomedical research. “There are wonderful nonprofits, government agencies and other organizations that do this stuff every day. The point is to help connect the dots, invest in what they do and encourage them to take it to the next level.”

Applicants must provide services in the Greater San Gabriel Valley. Proposals must incorporate at least one of these nine strategies:

  1. Get more adults to be physically active.
  2. Get more adolescents to be physically fit.
  3. Get more people age 2 and older to eat more fruit.
  4. Get more people age 2 and older to eat more vegetables.
  5. Enhance the physical and mental health of cancer survivors.
  6. Help people with prediabetes make lifestyle changes that reduce their high risk of developing diabetes.
  7. Keep children, adolescents and young adults from using tobacco products.
  8. Teach more people healthy living practices so they will change their lifestyles.
  9. Promote changes in government policies and the social and built environments that help people lead healthier lives. (In other words, said Clifton-Hawkins, “How can we get lights in city parks or salad bars in schools? How can we create places to live that encourage healthy behaviors?”)
Grants will be awarded based on creativity, sustainability, impact and accountability.

“We want to be able to measure the effects,” Clifton-Hawkins explained. “We also want to see how you deal with challenges. How you find and build partnerships. How you get people to follow through on what they learn. How you work with a culturally diverse population in which there are areas of high poverty and low education rates.”

Recipients will be chosen by the Community Benefits’ advisory council, whose members include other nonprofit hospitals, the Duarte Unified School District and the American Cancer Society. “The neat thing is that the decisions will be made by local stakeholders,” said Clifton-Hawkins. “These are people from many different groups who really understand what the problems are and what it takes to make things work.”

City of Hope has a rich history of helping its neighbors, she noted, “but some of what we do is under the radar.” It established the Community Benefits department last year to centralize health improvement activities near its main campus in Duarte, California, and in its primary service area, which covers Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties.

Current programs include education and outreach and what Clifton-Hawkins described as “culture-specific collaborations” and student internships and mentorships designed to develop “a health care workforce that represents the people who live in this community.”

The Healthy Living grants are a pilot project. “We are going to make a commitment to do this again next year,” she said, “but the format may change. We want to learn from this year so we can make the best investments.”

Grant applications are available at http://www.cityofhope.org/community-benefit#HealthyLivingGrantProgram

They must be submitted to Clifton-Hawkins at [email protected] by Friday, July 17. Results will be announced by Monday, July 27.

 

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Learn more about becoming a patient or getting a second opinion by visiting our website or by calling800-826-HOPE (4673). You may also request a new patient appointment online. City of Hope staff will explain what's required for a consult at City of Hope and help you determine, before you come in, whether or not your insurance will pay for the appointment.

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